A family is celebrating 25 years being at the heart of the Three Bridges community as the owners of the thriving post office and shop.
Jasminder Mangat and her late husband Bhupinder moved to Crawley from London in 1991 after buying the shop and post office in North Road, Three Bridges.
From day one they were welcomed by residents and that has continued as it has grown over the years.
She said: “All the businesses support us. Unbeatable Cars they will drive their customers here to get their car tax done. We are close to the schools. We reserve magazines for them and they support us. When they go on school trips they get the currency from us.
“All the older people have got our phone numbers. If they not able to get their shopping they will call and ask if I get some bread or milk.”
Many of the customers have also seen their family grow up. They moved here with their daughter Raman, who was later joined by sisters Kashmir and Navpreet.
Jasminder said: “Raman is getting married in April. They all bought her presents when she got engaged. Kash was the first born here. When they all heard, they started knitted baby clothes and we got two sacks full of clothes. I knew I wasn’t going to use all this and I shared it.
“They just accepted us. I couldn’t believe it. They are just part of the family.”
Her daughters presented her with an anniversary card signed by customers. At Christmas she receives vouchers, chocolates and biscuits.
About eight years ago, when Bhupinder died, the community rallied round her once more.
She said: “I just wanted to pack up. It just wasn’t the same. He ran the shop and I ran the post office. We had a good relationship that way. We had hundreds of cards and the funeral was just packed. The old people loved him.”
The girls helped out and they took on extra members of staff, who are just as loyal as the customers. Jasminder remembers George, who stayed until well into his eighties.
She said: “He was slow, but he never made a mistake. He still comes and draws his money out here. He was here 10-15 years.”
Sue Wain, who has been there for nearly seven years said: “I love it here. She’s great and customers are brilliant.